Al Gore’s Nobel Presentation

Al Gore accept­ed his Nobel Prize ear­li­er today in Oslo and deliv­ered an accom­pa­ny­ing speech that issued a stark warn­ing (read text here, watch video here):

[W]ithout real­iz­ing it, we have begun to wage war on the earth itself. Now, we and the earth­’s cli­mate are locked in a rela­tion­ship famil­iar to war plan­ners: “Mutu­al­ly assured destruc­tion.”

More than two decades ago,scientists cal­cu­lat­ed that nuclear war could throw so much debris and smoke into the air that it would block life-giv­ing sun­light from our atmos­phere, caus­ing a “nuclear win­ter.” Their elo­quent warn­ings here in Oslo helped gal­va­nize the world’s resolve to halt the nuclear arms race.

Now sci­ence is warn­ing us that if we do not quick­ly reduce the glob­al warm­ing pol­lu­tion that is trap­ping so much of the heat our plan­et nor­mal­ly radi­ates back out of the atmos­phere, we are in dan­ger of cre­at­ing a per­ma­nent “car­bon sum­mer.”

As the Amer­i­can poet Robert Frost wrote, ” Some say the world will end in fire; some say in ice.” Either, he notes, “would suf­fice.”

But nei­ther need be our fate. It is time to make peace with the plan­et.

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